A graphic video appears to show the moment that a police officer fatally shot a man early Tuesday outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
According to the Advocate, Baton Rouge police officers arrived at the Triple S Food Mart just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday after a caller said a man selling CDs had pulled a gun on someone. Officials said the man, 37-year-old Alton Sterling, was later shot and killed during "some type of altercation" with police.
Sterling died from "multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back," East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William Clark told The Associated Press.
According to WBRZ, two officers appear to tackle Sterling in the 48-second cellphone video captured by bystanders outside the store. An officer is shown pointing his gun at Sterling, who is on the ground, as several gunshots ring out.
WBRZ "decided to post most of the video, but froze the video and silenced sound just before shots are fired."
Officers found a gun in Sterling's pocket, police told WBRZ.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been identified by authorities as Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. According to NOLA.com, Salamoni has worked for the department for four years and Lake has worked for the department for three years. Lake was involved in a 2014 non-fatal shooting of a suspect trying to elude officers, according to WAFB.
The Associated Press reports that the Baton Rouge Police Department has put the two officers on administrative leave. A department spokesman said the officers' body cameras came loose during the altercation, the Advocate reports.
Sterling had a criminal record, including charges of aggravated battery, resisting an officer and domestic abuse battery, according to WAFB. He served time for a drug and weapons charge and was reportedly a sex offender, having served time for carnal knowledge of a juvenile. WAFB reports that Sterling was last arrested in June for ecstasy and marijuana possession. At the time of his death, Sterling was living at a transitional living center, The Advocate reported. According to friends and residents at the transitional center, Sterling was well-known in the area and well-liked. Sterling's family said that his past is being misrepresented.
Protesters gathered outside the convenience store Tuesday evening, chanting "Black lives matter" and "No justice, no peace."
In an emotional Wednesday morning press conference, the head of the Baton Rouge NAACP called for the police chief to be fired or to resign after the fatal shooting.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced at a news conference Wednesday morning that the Department of Justice will launch an investigation.
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